Friday, February 11, 2011

Electric Cars Have Yet Another Burden: Taxes!

By Brittany Shann

It seems as though the existence of the electric car has done nothing but provide innumerous amounts of benefits and the main ones involve saving money.  Since the cars are electric, the gasoline consumption is theoretically less, which implies less money spent on gas for travel.  Not only will the consumer save money, but they will simultaneously be participating in the preservation of the environment by driving a car that has fewer emissions.  By participating in the electric car trend, the consumer has given up the luxuries of a regular car by taking on the responsibilities of charging the car once it runs out.  Let’s face it – the conveniences aren’t too prominent.  The consumer of the electric car should be commended for their sacrifices being made for the world they live in.  but now, it’s being said they’re going to have to pay even more money.

In Washington state, potential new legislation will require electric car owners to pay an additional $100 when registering their cars and at the time of renewal.  The reasoning for this is that the state will be losing out on the gasoline taxes that wouldn’t be paid by electric car owners.  They must get the money somehow, so why not penalize those who sacrificed a certain lifestyle in order to help their environment?  It makes perfect sense.  “Electric cars will be driving on the highways right along with all the other cars.  One of our biggest    issues is preservation and maintenance of our existing highways.  We believe they should be paying their fair share,” said Senate Transportation Committee Chairwoman Mary Margaret Haugen.

However, the others who are paying the tax for which the government is trying to compensate are not making the lifestyle changes that the electric car owners are making.  Secondly, the number of people that drive electric cars is far less than those who drive gasoline-powered cars.  The Washington government predicts they’ll be able to make $400,000 by 2013 and about $1.9 million by the 2015-17 budget cycles from the tax revenue.  That’s about $2 million in…six years.  Relatively speaking, it’s not much money.  And who’s to say the money will actually go to road maintenance like they’ve claimed?  It’s absurd that they’re doing this and that the Washington state government should give a break to those who are giving the environment a break.

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